Self Improvement

The Silver Lining


Blogs. We love to read them, but they can be as dangerous (to readers) as they are fun. We see photos of designer outfits, glitter, and perfectly styled vingnettes. We see perfection. If I just described your daily life, I want to know all your secrets. Seriously–email me.

I love pretty things as much as the next girl. I post product roundups, love fashion, and my home was featured in a magazine. There’s lots of pretty in my life, but it’s relatively balanced by the not-so-pretty, whether that be the crap piled all over my dining table, balancing multiple work projects, and other stresses in my life. But I have my health, friends, family, CrossFit, and of course, The Everygirl. And I do not take any of these things for granted. But it is important (to me) that I keep it real with all of you, and with myself.

I am working on finding happiness and contentment when everything isn’t exactly as I want it. And really–when are things exactly as you want them? I’m running a business I dreamed of and things are going well. It is not easy but is something I wanted so badly. I pined over getting in shape for years (I’m talking the entirety of my 20s here) and found a workout that I love so much more than I ever thought possible. I wake up so happy that I can do push-ups and pull-ups. I have an amazing group of friends. A family who loves me. I am healthy. So given this information, I should just be happy. Right? 

Um…yeah, no.

I wrote this post over the weekend when I was going through a particularly difficult couple of hours. It all just hit me at once and I felt a little overwhelmed. So I sat down at the computer and started writing. And I just let myself feel everything. I thought about the good things in my life. The bad. Things I’ve been struggling through and things I want.

I woke up feeling much better on Sunday. Relaxed, cleaned, and did a little work before walking over to my friend Jess Lively’s place so we could catch up and introduce the pups to one another. Franklin is the cutest thing ever, by the way. As always, I loved talking to Jess and she had some great advice for me. I decided right then and there that I would go ahead and publish this post, even if the whole thing is just me rambling incessantly. And I’m pretty sure we hit that point at least one paragraph ago. But this is where I am, and I want to put it out there. I need to put it out there. I want to figure it all out and then look back on it in the months and years to come. Like this post. That takes me back.

Based on my blog posts, instagram, FB, and tweets, I seem pretty happy. And I am. Things are going well but the past year has been a little overwhelming. I’ve been balancing running a website, interns, and a graphic design business. I used to take on approx 8 clients a week but that just hasn’t been possible the past year. I can’t keep up. So I’ve had to cut back and as a result, I’ve made less money than I’m used to. I am still constantly trying to find balance between my two jobs. Trying to balance the number of clients I can work with at a time isn’t the worst problem to have.

I have a type A personality. Typical overachiever who likes stability and certainty. I set the bar high and work my ass off to get there. I dream big. At the same time, I am an entrepreneur which defines me as a risk taker. So I love stability but take risks with my career and as a result, my finances. I am a swirling mass of contradictions.

My point? Not sure. But I will say this–the next time you feel lost or like a piece of your puzzle is missing, please know that you are not alone. It is ok to let yourself feel defeated even when things are going well. It’s ok to be sad even when you’re happy. Let yourself feel it, but try to take a moment to think about all the good things in your life. It isn’t always easy to do, but it usually helps a little bit. I did this and woke up feeling much, much better on Sunday morning. There is always always always a silver lining.

Chase after your dreams. Set your bar high. Live what you love. And when you’re looking at blogs and instagram photos full of beautiful little vignettes and perfect outfits, try not to put so much damn pressure on yourself. Surround yourself with people who love you as much as you love them. Be kind to yourself and to others. We’re all in this together.

Leave a comment
  • this definitely starts my morning in a good place. so encouraging to know that we all feel the need to be "perfect" constantly yet we have to realize (and be ok with) the fact that we can only do so much even when we give our all and best. tx so much for this post!! (and I've been meaning to reach out for help with my blog but that's been sittin' on the back burner~~)

  • Wow Danielle. I so applaud you for putting this all out there. I'm like you, I like to make people think that I have things under control, but I definitely agree with you that it's ok to do only as much as you can do while still making sure you're happy and getting what you need. You work so hard at what you do, give yourself a break to just unwind and stay afloat! You definitely deserve it! Thanks for this lady, it's a great way to start my Monday!

  • Thank you for this post. Your honesty is so refreshing and your blog is actually uplifting with a perfect mix of fashion/lightheartedness and real feelings. You're amazing, Danielle!

  • What a beautiful post to read on a Monday when I'm having the exact same feelings as you encountered on the weekend. Thank you for putting yourself out there and letting us know that we're not alone. Things can get tough but it's how you deal with them that counts and surrounding yourself with friends and family will get you through it.

  • There has to be the good with the bad. There needs to be the balance and it's great to hear that we are all not alone in this battle. Sometimes the "Yes" comes out so fast to the next project or the next thing and we ignore the other things that already are piled up high. It's a process, and you are very motivating that you can juggle it all! I hope your feeling better and it will get easier!! =)

    Ergo – Blog

  • Such an appropriate post to start my Monday morning…I tossed and turned from 3:30 until my alarm went off this morning thinking about all of the negative/not perfect things in my life, how I don't know in which direction I am turning, how inadequate I feel for not being certain of my direction, etc. I appreciate your candidness, and your ability to 'put it out there'. Writing this comment alone is a challenge for me! Know that you are not alone, and while we all probably agree your life is glamorous and exciting, it is refreshing to hear that it's not always 'perfect'.

  • This was a very beautiful post! It really is refreshing to read a blog full of honesty. I tend to feel similar to you sometimes (especially this morning) and felt much better after reading your post. I have a hard time balancing my work life and personal life because I am also a type A personality. Thank you for this inspiring post!

  • You have no idea how much I needed this post this morning. Thanks for the rambling and the pushing publish. So much love for you.

  • I love this, and I was feeling the same way just about a week ago! A friend sent me this goop article which speaks to your type A (and I'm guessing perfectionist) personality: Like you mention above, this article talks about finding the beauty in the balance between perfection/imperfection. Hope you have a great week!

  • Great post, I think it's important when you run a blog to explain every now and again that your life isn't perfect and glossy. I am SO tough on myself, an absolute perfectionist and it can be exhausting and frustrating, not feeling as social as you want to, or not having enough money to buy the things you imagine, not finding the time to do the things you planned.
    Those moments of feeling lost or a bit empty are just horrid, it's just finding the energy to fight against the things that bring you down, keep them in perspective and sometimes just knowing that you just have to ride it out and soon you will feel differently.

    I think you have so much to be proud of and hope you get that happy feeling soon 🙂

    Sophie x

  • Thanks for being so darn honest and candid, Danielle! It's so refreshing. I admire you and Alaina so much for all of your accomplishments and the amazing goals that you set for yourselves (and then achieve). I'm glad you took some time for yourself this weekend and then decided to post about it here!

  • Thanks for posting this… it does make me feel less alone for my moments of unhappiness. This weekend I had a real breakdown crying in my closet because of the amount of laundry I had to do. My husband thought I was a bit crazy because I wanted to un-invite some friends over so that we could finish our laundry. It wasn't completely about the laundry, but everything sometimes feels so out of my hands and laundry felt like a task I could control and maybe once I got done with it I would feel better about everything else that is changing in my life. Well, we didn't finish all of the laundry but I do feel a lot better about it now having cried it out. I always feel better after a good cry! Hope you get to feeling better too… you are such an inspiration!

  • this post could not be more timely! i went through something similar this weekend, so reading this this morning was a real relief. thanks for posting.

    ps, i too live in chicago, and wondered if my mood had something to do with the realization that winter is here to stay… for 3-5 months 🙂

  • Although you and I lead very different lives since I am a teacher, wife and mom it is amazing to me that our struggles are the same. Balance is just like it sounds. Make sure one things doesn't fall to far or the other side doesn't get too much… I struggle with this daily. Some days I do better than others and some days I just cry "uncle". Thank you for letting me know that we all have these days no matter how put together we appear!

  • i needed this. i am such a perfectionist and i have been trying so hard to keep everything together and make it all better recently. i freaked out this weekend when i realized all the things i had hoped i would have done by now that arent done. my birthday is next week and every year i get so angry when i haven't accomplished everything i wanted.

  • Danielle, you're doing so well juggling all of these things! I wrote several months ago about that piece that floated around about Women and Perfectionism, and how it isn't possible – yet we hold ourselves and each other to this ridiculous standard, even going so far as to cut other women down before lifting them up. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said "be kind to yourself and others." I can't be gracious and loving to those around me until I'm giving it to myself. I try to remind myself constantly. Thanks for being that source today. 🙂

  • I feel this way so often! Kudos to you for speaking out about it because too many blogs give off the impression of perfection.

  • I love this post! Its so so so true. Reading blogs can be the death of someone if you start to compare yourself to all of these people and materialistic things. I can relate because it's happened to me also. Anyone can make things look just peachy on the internet, instagram, etc. but it does not describe what your feeling on the inside. There are so many things I am fearful of, that not even my closest friends or family know about, but it is so great to see that bloggers like yourself are able to let their readers know that they are not perfect and you have your own struggles to. It is extremely brave to write something so personal, but I and I'm sure other readers appreciate it just as much as I do. It's the realness on blogs that keep me going back to them. It's because I can relate so well. So thank you for this post! =)

  • This might be my favorite post of yours yet. Not that the others are not wonderful! They are! I think there is a lot of freedom in standing in our truth, whatever the heck it is. Thanks for the honesty and insight. 🙂 It's an encouragement.

  • I feel like I cuold have written this exact post myself. And this is my favorite one I've ever read, it does make me feel not alone- thank you!! I'm totally bookmarking this and coming back to read it whenever I feel down- I need to remind myself that I am happy, but sometimes things arent perfect, but we all have those days 🙂

  • Oh girl, I feel ya. I spent a large portion of the month of December in tears, despite that from the outside looking in it was probably career and blog wise one of the most exciting months of my life. Makes no sense! I'm so glad you wrote this post and just as much as you said- remember you yourself aren't alone either! I'm in the middle of reading this great book which I highly recommend- it's call Broken Open ( It focuses on how difficult times can help us grow and while I don't feel like going through a hugely difficult time, I find the lessons really helpful for dealing with those feelings of doubt, sadness, and feeling overwhelmed- even when everyday life is technically "ok." xoxo

  • Wouldn't it be interesting if there was a blog that showed imperfections not just the well styled sofa or the perfectly organized closet. It takes a lot of work to be perfect and to strive for perfection. Great post

  • I love you like Minnie loves Buddy…peach and plum forever! You are a rockstar!

  • I loved this post. I have been feeling like this a lot this past semester, even though from the outside I should be pretty content. Thank you for acknowledging this issue.

  • It's refreshing to hear the more real side of things sometimes. It is hard to not get swept into wanting the newest and best things out there… Thank you for sharing this!

  • Thanks for this. I don't know why but I feel the same way lately. While I do not take comfort in others feeling down, I do apprecaite knowing I am not alone. Thanks for being brave enough to post this.

  • Great post, and let me just tell you that I Emily find YOU to be a serious inspiration! So next time you're down wanting the asnwers from others know there are girls out there, myself included, who see you as that person!

  • This is exactly what I needed to read today. I wonder if it's a little bit of a let down from the excitement of the new year, but I feel the same way right now. Thank you for your honesty!

  • thank you for posting this and being real…it was exactly what I needed this evening. Especially after my plea in my own blog post today! You are an inspiration!

  • This was a great post, and not to marginalize anything you've written in the past but I enjoy reading what you have to say more and more each day.

  • Thank you for writing this!! I couldn't agree more, as much as I love the 'perfect' world we so often see in blogs and try to achieve in our own, its often isn't reality.

  • I love blogging but can totally relate to your point about how we sometimes only project the good stuff online and it comes out looking like some version of perfect — which can be so far from the truth some days.
    It's hard to publish the 'real' stuff — so props to you for this post, it's that kind of authenticity that makes me inspired by bloggers like you!

  • Stumbled upon your site a few weeks ago and I'm literally addicted. I love blogs and follow quite a few, but only HAVE to visit a few while I eat my peanut butter toast and tea in the morning and your is one of them. I love the way you write, how you put it out there and I'm very inspired by your career. Bravo!

    It's funny this little blog world we live in, so much heart, compassion, friendship, loyalty…

  • Thank you for being so vulnerable with us, your readers. I feel like you're always honest and I know you so well, from just reading your blog. Thank you for having fun post thrown in there, too! You're CROSSFIT journey is truly encouraging, I've started trying new things to fit working out into my lifestyle and you are a true inspiration. I love seeing your tweets about going to crossfit and everything. And if you can do it with two jobs, I should be able to do it with one job.

  • you've been an inspiration for a long time. your honesty and 'call to reality' in this post feels like a gift. I applaud you for such beautiful words and even prettier heart. thank you for sharing and a happy new year ahead!

  • THANK YOU!!! This post is why we love you so much- you're real. I love my blog surfing each day as a chance to escape, but often they make me feel "less than" (I don't have designer clothes, a nursery with Scalamandre wallpaper, homeschool my kids, a social life of ANY kind to speak of…) And being a mom of two, the Mommy Blogs are excruciating. Homemade meals three times a day, craft time, upteen activities. ugh.
    If women really want to help each other out, we'll admit that life is crazy hard. Balancing everything, whether jobs/relationships/kids/money, is impossible. Something has to give. Like the vacuuming.
    Thank you for reminding us that even those with a FABULOUS life (that's you, Danielle)have to work hard at it.

  • I seriously feel the same way sometimes…I have come to the conclusion that although the blog world is fun to be a part of, it os also somewhat "fake." I love to see bloggers open up and be a little translucent once in a while. I also thin that running your own business takes incredibly hard work and perseverance. It is easy to go and work for someone else, but when you are the one thinking up all of the tasks on the to do lists, it can become overwhelming. Thank you for this post, I am right there with ya!

  • This was wonderful! Sometimes, we all go thru a funk, and sometimes, it's really hard to shake. I've been going thru one myself- it felt as though everyone around me (real and in blogland) has been advertising how they think 2013 is going to be their year, and it's going to be great…and I just haven't been feeling it. But, in due time, all things come around.
    I read something, on another blog – So, How was Your Day? – where this guy wrote that anytime he accomplished or succeeds at something, it's not enough. My husband tells me that I'm like this a lot- and quite frankly, he gets fed up with it. I know it's not always the best, believe me I know, but this guy said the following:
    "With every dream and goal I accomplish, I just have more dreams and set more goals. I associate being satisfied with being content. I'm too infatuated with becoming a better person to let that happen."
    At the end of the day, it's all about becoming a better person, for me, for my husband, for those around me. So, that put a little perspective on things.

    Anway, just wanted to share. 🙂

  • I love this post… it's everything I need to hear and more. Thank you! xo

  • You are most definitely NOT alone! I love blogs and on the whole I find them super inspiring and motivating but sometimes, if I let them, they can totally shine a light on everything I haven't got or haven't achieved! And that can of course make me feel pretty crappy. But then I read posts like this and realise that we are all in exactly the same boat! Im sure you will feel back on top form in no time at all love! Sending lots of positivity and happy thoughts your way! 🙂